What's the best time to visit Monument Valley?
The best time to visit Monument Valley is during spring (April to May) and fall (September to October). In spring, temperatures range from 45-72°F, making it perfect for off-road exploration and hiking. Fall offers pleasant weather (21-34°C) with fewer crowds, and various accommodation options are available to cater to different preferences, including camping and upscale choices.
When you hear about Monument Valley, scenes from popular films like ‘Mission Impossible II,’ ‘Forrest Gump,’ and the HBO series, ‘Westworld’ come to mind.
However, this iconic landscape has much more to offer than movie-worthy sceneries. The colossal mesas, panoramic vistas, and large sandstone bluffs towering over the vast desert floor aren’t landscapes you see every day.
A two-to-three-hour drive should get you visiting the desert’s main sites, but if you want to explore all its entrails, plan a day’s trip. Like any other tourist destination, there are best and worst times to visit Monument Valley. Here’s our take.
Overall Best Time to Visit Monument Valley
The best time to visit Monument Valley is in spring (April to May) and Fall (September to October), when the temperatures are warmer.
The winter season has just ended, bringing the temperatures to highs of 45 to 72 Fahrenheit. The spring breeze is still cool at night, and there’s a probability of extreme winds than any other month of the year.
The spring season is a great time to explore Monument Valley off-road because the pathways and landscapes are free of the winter snow. They’re stunning and may get crowded as many off-road motorists come here to test their skills on 4×4 vehicles.
Come May, the temperature increases to 55 to 80 Fahrenheit. The weather during the day is warm enough to go for hikes and explore the valley’s bluff formations, and the evenings aren’t as chilly as the previous months.
It’s also an excellent time for outdoors enthusiasts to go rock climbing on the fascinating mesas. Fall is also a great time to visit because the temperatures are tolerable (21-34 C).
Monument Valley gets pretty busy during this period as tourists who don’t like the large summer crowds visit.
Camping sites like the Hummingbird Campsite, Sleeping Bear Campgrounds, and Mustang Valley Campsite are accessible, as well as budget-friendly and high-end accommodations. Note that camping in the valley is restricted to those with backpacking permits.
Cheapest Time to Visit Monument Valley
The cheapest time to visit Monument Valley is in February. You enjoy discounted rates on flights, accommodation, and rental vehicles.
The weather is still excellent as temperatures range from 42 to 55 Fahrenheit, perfect for winter camping. Monument Valley is home to various campgrounds, including the View Campground, Arrowhead Campground, Mustang Valley Campground, and Tipi Village.
Tipi Village is particularly popular because it has the most stunning views of the sandstone bluffs. It’s well-equipped for those bringing their food, and visitors can reserve a tipi depending on the number of people visiting.
With smaller crowds and slightly warmer weather, February is also an excellent time to visit the famous shooting locations featured in Hollywood movies. Be sure to book a tour with Navajo guides to access them.
Least Busy Time to Visit Monument Valley
The least busy time to visit Monument Valley is during the winter months (December to March). The weather is particularly chilly in December and January because temperatures drop to 29 Fahrenheit.
Some areas receive snow, allowing you to view the beautiful red rocks covered in snow. The days are shorter in December, sometimes only nine hours of sunlight.
The night skies are clear and incredibly beautiful, with fewer day hours, displaying many galaxies. During this period, Monument Valley is often referred to as the dark skies’ territory. If visiting, you may be lucky to see the moon cycles.
At the beginning of January, the weather is warmer, causing the snow to melt. The 17-mile dirt road also gets clearer hence a great time to visit the Valley’s highlights without the large summer crowds.
Worst Time to Visit Monument Valley
The worst time to visit Monument Valley is during summer (June to August). They’re the hottest and the busiest months as tourists come here to enjoy the summer holiday.
Temperatures are extremely high in July, sometimes recording highs of 97 Fahrenheit. The nights get a little cool due to the high-temperature range, and it’s common to experience heavy downpours.
The summer season is an excellent time to explore the short hiking trails albeit the scorching heat. The Wildcat, Navajo Tribal Park, and the Monument Valley OHV Loop trails are great places to explore Monument Valley if you have a backcountry permit.
It’s best to start your hiking journey early in the day to avoid getting caught up in the blazing afternoon heat. If not, wait until the sunset hours when the weather is cooler.
It’s also the best time to capture the panoramic views of the Valley. With the clouds beginning to form later in August, the skies form a beautiful backdrop on Monument Valley.
So, When Should You Visit Monument Valley?
Monument Valley, one of the hottest and farthest places in Utah, needs ample planning before visiting. The best way is to know the best time to visit Monument Valley to prepare adequately.
The spring and fall seasons are the best because the weather isn’t as hot as during the summer season. You can easily traverse the Valley in the afternoon while stopping without worrying about the scorching sun. Happy travels!